BMW Brings Performance Center to California

Golfers always want to improve their driving skills, right? While the new BMW Performance Center West may not help you find more fairways, it’s a luxury driving experience that you won’t want to miss.

The permanent performance driver training facility is located in Thermal, California, near Palm Springs, and is open to the public. It offers a wide range of driving schools for people of all ages and abilities, as well as special programs for private and corporate groups.

Using a private course set amongst a backdrop of breathtaking mountain views (what golfer doesn’t like a private course with great scenery?), BMW professional instructors teach Performance Driving Schools for those who sign up. The classes provide the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the “Ultimate Driving Machine” and learn proper vision, basic car control, panic braking, handling, last-minute emergency lane changing, distracted driving, high-speed control and precision driving.

A breakdown of classes they offer is below:

Car Control School: Drivers take the wheel of a BMW and head out to the track, where professional instructors will hone their driving skills. Understanding stability control, knowing what to do when a vehicle starts to slide on the wet skid pad and practicing proper vision through the lane-change course prepares drivers on how anticipate and react to similar situations on a real road. It’s available as a one- or two-day course.

Teen School: There’s a lot for brand-new drivers to keep in mind, and the BMW Teen School will allow them to experience how a vehicle feels at the limit in the safety of a closed environment. From wet skid pad exercises and panic braking to performing a double lane change, teens will leave with a solid foundation of vehicle control and a big smile. It’s available as either a one- or two-day curriculum.

M School: Drivers take the wheel of a high-performance BMW M series vehicle and do their best to keep the power of 400 horses under control while drifting around a wet skid pad. The day caps off with a hot lap in an instructor-driven M vehicle. It’s available as a one-day, or for even more pulse-pounding excitement, a full two-day course.

M Track Drive: Featuring BMW’s most powerful and responsive vehicles, the M Track Drive will puts drivers behind the wheel of an M car for six exhilarating laps. Follow an instructor’s car for a warm-up lap and learn the proper line for achieving the best time. Then, try to keep their car in your sights as speeds and g-forces increase, pushing your M car to its considerable limits.

MINI Motoring School: Take a John Cooper Works MINI Cooper and run it through an autocross course, lead/follow session, and some stunt driving techniques, all under the watchful eye of a professional instructor.

Furthermore, the facility features include a brand new, luxurious modern building, up to 5.1 miles of expansive track layouts, meeting space, a gourmet café, gift shops and a truly unique experience. The BMW Performance Center West opened in April 2015, and then moved into the new, purpose-built facility in November 2016.

To reserve your driving experience, visit or call 888-345-4269.

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